By James J. Mangraviti, Jr. 

Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians: Introduction 

There are many reasons why a doctor might explore non-clinical jobs for physicians.  These include boredom, burnout, looking for new challenges, better work-life balance, a disability, looking to make more money than non-clinical medicine or simply no longer enjoying the practice of medicine. 

A concern for any physician considering a career transition is not appreciating the breath of non-clinical jobs which exist for physicians.  There are actually so many different types of non-clinical jobs for physicians available that the hardest part of transition is deciding which is the best fit for your own situation.  The below is a very brief sketch of the 10 most numerous non-clinical jobs for physicians that exist. 

Most Common Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians 

  1. Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians in Utilization Review.  These roles involve working for insurers or their contractors (such as independent review organizations), reviewing charts, and issuing opinions on whether or not a treatment or test is medically necessary under the applicable health insurance policy language. Most of these non-clinical jobs for physicians in utilization review can be performed from home.  
  2. Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians in Disability Review.  Similar to utilization review, these jobs involve working for disability insurers or their contractors, reviewing charts and offering opinions on whether the claimant meets the definition of disability under applicable policy language.  This is another area where doctors typically work from home.
  3. Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians in Life Insurance.  Physicians working for life insurers typically work on underwriting and help the insurance company understand mortality risk in people applying for life insurance.  Life insurance non-clinical jobs for physicians are typically work from home/remote.
  4. Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians as a Physician Advisor.  Every hospital that accepts Medicare is required by law to have a physician advisor.  The physician advisor is the point person responsible for interacting with payors on issues of what is going to be covered by insurance.
  5. Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians in Industry: Pharma, Medical Device Companies, and Contract Research Organizations (CROs).  Industry employs large numbers of physicians.  Non-Clinical jobs in industry typically focus on drug/device safety, regulatory matters, and or clinical research.  Many of the non-clinical jobs for physicians in industry are performed remotely from home. 
  6. Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians in Administration.  Hospitals and health systems employ countless non-clinical physicians in various medical director administrative roles all the way up to chief medical officer and chief executive officer.
  7. Non-Clinical Jobs in Consulting Firms.  With health care making up more than 1/6 of the U.S. economy, many physicians serve as management consultants with large and boutique consulting firms.
  8. Non-Clinical Jobs in Medical Communications.  Many physicians are employed by medical communications companies to create content that requires medical expertise.  Projects that physicians working with medical communication organizations can work on include CME presentations, marketing materials, advertising, regulatory filings, package inserts, Freelance medical writing work for medical communication companies is also available. 
  9. Non-Clinical Jobs in Informatics and Healthcare IT.  Numerous jobs for physicians related to informatics and healthcare IT exist on both the vendor side as well as the healthcare system side.
  10. Non-Clinical Jobs with the Federal Government.  The United States government employs a large number of non-clinical physicians and many of these jobs can be performed remotely.  Federal agencies that employ large numbers of physicians in non-clinical roles include CDC, NIH, NIOSH, FDA, CMS, and USPHS. There are also public health positions available at state and local governments. 

Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians: Conclusion 

There are many industries that offer a large number of non-clinical jobs for physicians.   If you are a physician looking to transition to a non-clinical career it is best to identify the careers that would be a great fit for your interests and desires.  That is best done by researching each field thoroughly and talking to physicians currently working in the fields.  

James J. Mangraviti, Jr. is the co-founder of SEAK, Inc.’s annual Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference, held each year in Chicago.  SEAK’s Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference features a faculty of dozens of physicians who have experience in non-clinical and alternative careers.  Many of our faculty are SEAK alumni.  SEAK’s Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians conference also includes free 1-1 peer mentoring, the opportunity to interview with employers and recruiters, and a robust networking experience.  Jim can be reached at 508-457-1111 or